Revivalism, evangelicalism, the faith of happy-clappers—this branch of Protestantism, and its beliefs—is also as American as apple pie ~ilana
I see the Zionists John Hagee and Rod Parsley as belonging squarely to the tradition of a vigorous (if often misguided), fighting American Christendom ~ilana
Liberal lunatics worked hard to create a Jeremiah Wright parallel in John McCain’s political universe. Wright, dressed in flowing robes lambasting white men and Western civilization, quickly gave way to images of the rotund Pastor John Hagee laying into the Roman Catholic Church (called “the great whore”) and homosexual sin (caused the great hurricane). What really caused MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and his Obama Brigade to rise on their hind legs was Hagee’s clumsy suggestion that “God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land.”
Personally, I’m disinclined to blame God for humanity’s troubles and transgressions. But very many Christians and Jews believe that, good or bad, The Almighty moves in mysterious ways and that there is a method in the madness around them. To explain events is not to excuse them. Ultimately, I’m more suspicious of “righteous gentiles” who shout louder than Abe Foxman about anti-Semitism.
At this stage of the histrionics, most hastened to acquiesce to the parallels drawn between Pastors Wright and Hagee. The browbeaten were feeling the pressure to appear as “intelligent” as the rabid barking liberals. Others veered into theological justifications. Jewish conservatives belabored their annoying, overwrought “I-am-Jew-Supporter-of-Hagee-Hear-Me-Roar” shtick.
McCain, meanwhile, was twisting his tortured frame into pretzels to denounce Hagee. This only helped legitimize the similarities the media had manufactured between Hagee and Wright vis-à-vis McCain and Hussein. Not being as stupid, Obama saw in the contretemps an opportunity for quick quid pro quo. Just as he doesn’t hold Hagee against McCain, the sanctimonious senator implied, so too should Wright not be held against him.
Obama drives a hard bargain. He also resisted public pressure to denounce his pox of a pastor. McCain, conversely, did not stand up like a man; but turned on a solid supporter—Hagee—as soon as the flaky left began to pile on the pastor. If McCain can’t stand up to unhinged talkers, how will he stand up to al-Qaida? (Mind you, McCain never fails to “stand up” to conservatives.)
Yet another evangelical supporter of McCain, Pastor Rod Parsley, had “sharply criticized Islam, calling the religion [an] inherently violent,” “anti-Christ religion,” and “the Muslim prophet Muhammad “the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil.” To Olbermann, this was a giant “gotcha” moment: Parsley’s words were so patently damning, so deranged, that Olbermann just beamed all over the screen speechless.
“Countdown” Keith made the right call for the wrong reasons. According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted in 2006, “six in 10 Americans think [Islam] the religion is prone to violent extremism.” “Fifty-eight percent think there are more violent extremists within Islam than within other religions.” Views have hardened since 2001. Over the years, Americans have learned a great deal more about Islam. Increased knowledge may well correlate with unfavorable attitudes toward the Islam. At least among ordinary Americans. Indeed, the prolix Olbermann didn’t need to parse Parsley for his viewers.
Contempt for the Religious Right in contemporary America is not new. A deracinated lot, the pukka left (liberals), the crypto-left (neoconservatives), and the aspiring left (assorted libertarians) have always despised the people they regard as religion’s rube hicks.
To preface my contention that, foibles and frailties notwithstanding, Parsley and Hagee are “ours” and Wright is not, let me say this: The aforementioned mutant leftists consider America a propositional nation, a notion and an idea; not a community of flesh-and-blood people sharing a mother tongue, traditions, history and heroes. To such pseudo-sophisticates, the idea that some are part of your national family, and others not, signals a lack of worldliness. The nation’s social scientists, statists all, would go even further and diagnose proponents of the nation as diseased.
Such charges should not bother the truly worldly, especially if they’ve experienced—and don’t merely theorize about—life and the world.
Hagee’s Hebraic bond goes back to John Winthrop and the New England Puritans. Revivalism, evangelicalism, the faith of happy-clappers—this branch of Protestantism, and its beliefs—is also as American as apple pie. The First and Second Great Awakenings were epochal events in early America, instrumental in the Revolution. And later in Abolition: Although evangelical abolitionists embraced pacifism, John Brown did not. He was “one of the very few in pre-Civil War America willing both to live with black people and to die for them.” Not to mention kill for them. To avenge the savage beating of abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner, and as an answer to the violent pro-slavery “Redeemers,” Brown and his “free-soil activists” snatched five pro-slavery settlers near Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas,” and “split the captives’ skulls with broadswords, biblical retribution gone mad.”
The particularism of Afrocentrism, Wright’s creed, is as American as Idi Amin was. Both alien and idiotic is Wright’s fealty to “Black values” and the Dark Continent—where everywhere black bodies are stacked up like firewood, to paraphrase the talented Keith Richburg, a black American journalist.
The dim dhimmi will see Wright—a man of the far-left, a hater of Israel and the West, an idolater of Africa—as one of them. Although irreligious and against aggressive wars, I see the Zionists John Hagee and Rod Parsley as belonging squarely to the tradition of a vigorous (if often misguided), fighting American Christendom.
©By ILANA MERCER
May 30, 2008
CATEGORIES: Africa, America, Christian Right, Christianity, Jews & Judaism, John McCain, Racial issues, Religion & Faith